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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

in        THE CHURCH OF SS. SERGIUS AND BACCHUS        65
S. Laurentius should be placed.* £Filius vester magnificus vir Justinianus, res convenientes fidei suae faciens, basiiicam sanctorum Apostolorum in qua desiderat Sancti Laurentii martyris reliquias esse, constituit.91 We have also a letter to the Pope from Justinian himself, in which the writer, in order to glorify the basilica which he had built in honour of the apostles in his palace, begs for some links of the chains which had bound the apostles Peter and Paul, and for a portion of the gridiron upon which S. Laurentius was burnt to death.2 The request was readily granted in the same year. The description of the basilica, as situated in the palace then occupied by Justinian, leaves no room for doubt that the sanctuary to which the letters just quoted refer was the church of SS. Peter and Paul which Procopius describes as near (irapd) the palace of Hormisdas. In that case the church of SS. Peter and Paul was built before the church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus, for the inscription on the entablature in the latter church, not to mention Cedrenus, distinctly assigns the building to the time when Justinian and Theodora occupied the throne. This agrees with the fact that Procopius 3 records the foundation of SS. Peter and Paul before that of SS. Sergius and Bacchus, and if this were all he did the matter would be clear. But, unfortunately, this is not all Procopius has done. For after recording the erection of SS. Sergius and Bacchus, he proceeds to say that Justinian subsequently (en-cwa) joined another (aAA,o) church,4 a basilica, to the sanctuary dedicated to those martyrs, thus leaving upon the reader's mind the impression that the basilica was a later construction. To whom that basilica was consecrated Procopius does not say. Was that basilica the church of SS. Peter and Paul which Procopius mentioned before recording the erection of SS. Sergius and Bacchus ? Is he speaking of two or of three churches ? The reply to this question must take into account two facts as beyond dispute : first, that the church of SS. Peter and Paul, as the letters cited above make clear, was earlier than the church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus; secondly, that the basilica united to the latter sanctuary was dedicated to the two great apostles \ for scenes which, according to one authority,5 occurred in S. Peter's took place, according to another authority,6 in the church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus. In the face of these facts, Procopius is either mistaken in regard to the relative age of the two sanctuaries, or he
1  Baronius, Annales ecclesiastic^ torn. ix. p. 253, Luccae, 1741: 'quarn basiiicam eorum hie in domo nostra sub nomine praedictorum venerabilium con-structam, illustrare et illuminate large dignemim.'
2  Ibid. p. 254.                                    3 De aed. i. p. 186.
* Ut supra, Kal ^Tretra Kal  rfytvos #AXo  £K  ir"\Q,ylov rotfry irapaKdfAGvov (i.e. SS. Sergius and Bacchus).
6 Baronius, x. p. 43.                           6 Theoph. p. 349 ; Malalas, p. 485.
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